Ref NoMS/314/g
TitleLetters between William Groom & Mrs Hills 1821-1830 - Lady Pleasance Papers
AdminHistoryLady Pleasance Smith (1773-1877) née Reeve, English letter writer and literary editor, born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, one of six children of Robert (1739-1815) and Pleasance Reeve née Clark (1739-1820); only daughter to survive infancy together with an older brother Robert (1770-1840) and a younger brother James (1778-1827).

On 1 March 1796 she married James Edward Smith (1759-1828), Founder of the Linnean Society, in Lowestoft. In November 1796 they moved from London and settled in Norwich where they lived at 29 Surrey Street, a house owned by Pleasance's father. The year after their marriage she was painted as a "gypsy girl" and a "match girl" by John Opie. The original portraits are at the Linnean Society of London.

James Edward Smith was knighted on 28 July 1814 and Pleasance became Lady Smith, elevating her rank in society. She mixed within the upper circles of society and after Sir James died in March 1828 continued an active role. She was known for her generosity and philanthropic work, often sending gifts to her wide-ranging network. She maintained a prolific correspondence, sharing and pursuing an active interest in poetry, theology, history and current affairs. She had a sharp intellect, a keen wit and enjoyed word games. She received a personal letter from Queen Victoria to "her friend" on her 100th birthday.

Although not a botanist or a fellow, she maintained a connection with the Linnean society throughout her life, notably depositing Sir James' correspondence. Believing their interest lay only in the scientific, she destroyed much of his correspondence which included many of her own personal letters. She edited a biography of him, published in 1832, which included some of his letters.

Lady Pleasance Smith died on February 1877 at the age of 103, at her home since 1849 in High Street, Lowestoft. She is said to have retained her faculties but did suffer from gout and failing eyesight in her later years. She survived her husband by almost 49 years.
DescriptionCorrespondence referring to the estates of Miss Bankes, Mr Bankes and Mrs Bankes (the late sister and parents of Mrs Hills), and a dispute over interpretation of the Wills. Consists of 213 letters, mostly from William Groom (a solicitor), and others, to Mrs Hills of Colne Park, Halstead, relating to the estate of Miss Bankes, following her death. Some letters contain strong criticism of Mr Hills, the husband of Mrs Hills. Also includes some letters addressed to Miss Bankes.

Unless otherwise stated, letters are from William Groom, his son, Richard (both solicitors) or their employee, William Cox, to Mrs Hills.

1. 1821 Feb 3. To Miss Bankes. Encloses extract from letter he had written to Mr Maberly. Feels he cannot approve of the proposed sale of stock.

2. 1821 Feb 15. To Miss Bankes. Recommends she accepts offer from Mr Congdon to rent the two houses in Church Yard for £48 per annum on a lease for 21 years from Lady Day.

3. 1821 Apr 19. To Miss Bankes. Mr Duval had reconsidered his opinion and now thinks she is entitled to the Bank Stock dividends.

4. 1821 May 23. To Miss Bankes. So far as concerns him the business will be finished by the end of next month.

5. 1821 Aug 28. Regrets to hear of the death of Miss Bankes. Confirms Mrs Hills is the Executrix. Explains what needs to be done. Will not say anything about Mr Hills’s conduct "at this time".

6. 1821 Aug 30. Has not yet recovered from the death of Miss Bankes. Will write at length in two or three days. Has given instructions to his clerk, William Cox.

7. 1821 Sep 1. Has met Francis. Bankes is somewhere in France and only Francis can ascertain where he is. Francis would like to meet her. He would make "no wild attempt at reconciliation between Mr. B. and his family".

8. 1821 Sep 3. Considers Hills is responsible for the delay about which he complains.

9. 1821 Sep 7. Unlikely she would need to prove Miss Bankes’s will. Suggests she sees Groom when he returns.

10. 1821 Sep 13. There is a lease to Michell of three houses in Moors Yard ready for her to execute.

11. 1821 Oct 2. Davies will value the furniture and books.

12. 1821 Oct 16. Encloses copy of note from Chawner to Groom.

13. 1821 Oct 19. Encloses copy of note from Kynaston’s solicitor. Comments on Davies’s evaluation of furniture and books.

14. 1821 Nov 6. Suggests her visit be deferred until the week after next.

15. [No date] Instructions for executing the two Deeds of Declaration of Trust.

16. 1821 Nov 23. Discusses the disposal of the Long Annuities, the subject of her late parents’ marriage settlement and the difficulties raised in the will of the late Mrs Bankes.

17. 1821 Nov 28. Edwards, J. to Mrs Hills. Thinks the valuation of the goods at £38 is very little. Suggests she looks at the picture of a Sea View before she parts with it.

18. 1822 Jan 2. Instructed by Groom to let her have copies of letter from Thomas Malerby and his reply. Groom will write to her as soon as he had heard from Malerby.

19. 1822 Jan 25. Encloses copies of letters between him and Malerby. Has £200 due to her as Executrix or in her own right. Has not been able to pacify Kynaston. Hills will not act unless he has his own way in everything. Suggests she offers him an annual payment.

20. 1822 Jan 30. Encloses copy of correspondence with Malerby. Is certain that if Cust and Watson knew the state of things they would bring matters to a head without hesitation.

21. 1822 Mar 23. Hills refuses to give up any portion of his rights in the Long Annuities. Asks if she can now complete the purchase of Kynaston.

22. 1822 Mar 30. Objects strongly to the manner in which he had been treated by Hills. Suggests she offers Hills such share of the Suffolk Estate money as would correct Mrs Bankes’s mistake with the Long Annuities.

23. 1822 Apr 13. Encloses copy of correspondence with Malerby about money owed to him [WG] by Hills. Will immediate settle with Kynaston.

24. 1822 Apr 16. About the Long Annuities, his difficulties with Hills and the possibility that she would ultimately be unable to employ him [WG] in her own separate affairs.

25. 1822 Apr 19. Has settled with Kynaston and explains the amounts due from him and to him.

25a. 1822 May 4. A reminder from the tax assessor that he had not received the quarterly tax on house and windows, nor the tax on horse carriages, servants and armorial bearings which should have been paid by Lady Day.

25b. 1822 May 10. Miss Bankes had agreed to grant lease of two houses in St. Martins Church Yard to Congdon. He has now applied for the lease.

26. 1822 Jun 15. Afraid that Hills’s objection "cannot be got over" at the bank. Will soon have Congdon’s leases ready for her signature.

27. 1822 Jun 22. Is sending her by the Halstead Coach the leases for signature.

28. 1822 Jun 26. Hopes that something would happen to make Hills give way. Will be glad to hear the fate of the Long Annuities.

29. 1822 Aug 22. A reminder from Driver that the late Miss Bankes had not settled their account.

30. 1822 Aug 29. Recalls meeting with Miss Bankes on 8th June 1818. Had probably told her that Driver could not go to Southweald without her concurrence and that of Hills and Miss Bankes’s assignees.

31. 1822 Oct 9. Acknowledges her letter about the taxes. Will credit her with £50.

32. 1823 Jan 25. Mr Bankes’s assignees would probably not acquiesce in the proposed deduction and as Executrix of her late sister she has no power to give up one shilling. Discusses ownership of parts of the Long Annuities.

33. 1823 Feb 26. Is sending her an account of the St. Martin’s Lane estate.

33a. 1823 Apr 5. Is very busy but will soon attend to the business of the Long Annuities. Hopes Hills will withdraw his request for further accounts of Southouse’s personal estate.

34. 1823 Jun 5. (From Groom, R.) His father is away; asks if he can help in any way.

35. 1823 Jun 12. (From Groom, R.) Has talked with his father in Brighton. Afraid there will be unavoidable delay in finally settling the Long Annuities.

36. 1823 Jun 20. Confirms payment of £39.18.3 to Cust and Wilkinson.

37. 1823 Jun 25. Asks if she had any knowledge of deeds and papers once in the possession of her grandfather about the marriage settlement of Lady Tankenville and about the estates and affairs of Sir James Colebrook and Mrs Skinner.

38. 1823 Jun 26. Browne, A. to Mrs Hills. About her marriage settlement and what should have been done after the death of her mother. Suggests he speaks to Groom if she can confirm he acts for her and is a solicitor.

39. 1823 Jul 17. Does not understand Maberly’s letter . Suggests she sends him [Groom] the letter and "paper of remarks" he had made thereon.

40. 1823 Sep 1. About the demand from E. Ellis. Miss Bankes had considered the £80 lost because it had been paid to W. Ellis not the Ellis partnership.

41. 1823 Oct 15. Sees no hope that Hills will take any step whatever. Neither Hills nor Maberley understands Long Annuities. Suggests she decides whether or not to lease any more of the St. Martin’s Lane Estate.

42. 1823 Nov 4. Glad to hear she had paid a tribute of respect to her brother. Will soon meet Hills Jnr. Considers Maberly, acting as Hills’s lawyer, should take the entire blame because of bad advice he had given Hills.

43. 1823 Nov 8. Southouse’s codicil confines the investment to Government funds. She can neither buy nor lend on mortgage but she can borrow on what the estate will bear.

44. 1823 Nov 21. Malerby’s ignorance is the cause of all the trouble. Will be happy to explain things to Hills Jnr. All would be well if she could prevail on Hills to seek the opinion of Cooke or any barrister of eminence.

45. 1823 Nov 29. Neither Hills nor Malerby understand Long Annuities. Hills should seek an opinion other than that of Duval.

46. 1824 Jan 13. Is sending her the annual account of the St. Martin’s Lane Estate.

47. 1824 Jan 21. Farquhar’s bill, £162.2.4, for the probate of Miss Bankes’s Will is still unpaid. Suggests it be paid immediately. Hills should pay it himself if he persists in postponing execution of the Will.

48. 1824 Feb 23. Receipt for documents and deeds relating to the Wills of Sir James Colebrooke and Mrs Skynner provided by Mrs Hills.

49. 1824 Feb 24. Lord Tankerville not in possession of any of the deeds mentioned in her list. Suggests she no longer employs him [Groom] as professional advisor but accepts his gratuitous advice as a friend.

50. 1824 Mar 5. Suggests she no longer employs him [Groom] as professional advisor but accepts his gratuitous advice as a friend.

51. 1824 Mar 10. Giving money to Bankes’s assignees was absurd but the mistake having been made their solicitor must consent to an alteration of the Order.

52. 1824 Apr 29. Encloses copy of letter from Forbes [with heading Bankes re Colebrook].

53. 1824 May 7. Sends corrected accounts and will pay her £50. A repeat payment later. Delays always caused by Hills and Maberly.

54. 1824 Jul 10. Will send to Wadeson any of the Long Annuities papers requested. Has never had her Marriage Settlement or that of her later mother and father.

55. 1824 Sep 10. Has paid £100 into her account. Apologizes for the delay.

56. 1824 Sep 19. Has paid another £100 into her account. Hopes the retirement of Wadeson will not impede the slow progress of the Long Annuities business.

57. 1824 Dec 11. Glad to hear that Hills will settle the Long Annuities business. Asks if there is a Power of Attorney for selling Miss Bankes’s stock. If so Hills should do this.

58. 1824 Dec 16. About the £43.10 to be paid by Mr Bankes’s assignees.

59. 1825 Feb 8. Encloses his account with the Executrix of the late Miss Bankes.

60. 1825 Feb 12. About accounts; payable and due.

61. 1825 Apr 12. Wadeson, R.A. Discusses distribution of the Long Annuities.

62. 1825 Apr 13. Deed of release must go to Watson’s solicitor or there would be an unavoidable Chancery Suit.

63. 1825 Apr 16. Wadeson, R.A. Assumes she will accept responsibility for the deficiency of £86.1.6 on the balance of the Long Annuities.

64. 1825 May 14. Surprised to hear from Watson’s solicitors that a legacy of 20 gns left to him by Mrs Bankes had not yet been paid.

65. 1825 Jun 7. Has paid £100 into her account. Happy that the Long Annuities business is nearly settled.

66. 1825 Jun 10. Wadeson, R.A. Encloses release of Power of Attorney for execution by her and Hills.

67. 1825 Aug 2. Details of financial transfers of Long Annuities. Congratulates her on the ending of the disagreeable business.

68. 1825 Aug 17. No reply yet from Watson’s solicitors. Agrees that Mrs Lawe’s legacy be paid out of the Executorship money.

69. 1825 Aug 26. No reply yet from Watson’s solicitors. Mrs Middleton’s marriage had given great satisfaction to both families.

70. 1825 Sep 13. Encloses copy of letter from Watson’s solicitors. Suggests she writes to Watson.

71. 1825 Sep 24. Watson out of town for two weeks. Has paid £100 into her account.

72. 1825 Sep 13. Hill, Mrs, J. to Watson, J. Outlines her difficulties and hopes he will agree with her proposal.

73. 1825 Oct 21. Watson willing to transfer Long Annuities to new Trustees if he had release and indemnity from her and her daughters.

74. 1825 Nov 7. As a married woman her personal release is inoperative in law. Suggests what she should do.

75. 1825 Nov 23. The Assignees are selling Mr Bankes’s interest in the Essex and Middlesex Estates. Suggests that Hills or she should purchase them.

76. 1825 Dec 1. Gives details of ownership of the Essex and Middlesex Estates and what the Assignees need to do to sell their balance, had not heard anything
about Wadeson, " but I suppose in the late flight of Solicitors he is one of the birds". [Also, "whatever becomes of me as lawyer, is of no

77. 1825 Dec 13. Thinks that Sikes or Wilkinson should undertake the Trust of the Long Annuities jointly with Hanbury. Hopes that Hills will not object to settling the accounts of the late Southouse.

78. 1825 Dec 14. Gives the news of the stoppage of the Bank of Sikes & Co.

79. 1825 Dec 21. Long Annuities. Urges her to appoint a Trustee to act with Hanbury.

80. 1825 Dec 29. No possibility of Sykes assuming business of banker. Suggests Hanbury.

81. 1825 Dec 30. Seeks her signature to request Sykes to deliver probates and packing case.

82. 1826 Jan 9. Will ask Hanbury to take out Power of Attorney for transfer of £57.17.10 from Long Annuities to Hills and Hanbury.

83. 1826 Jan 21. Afraid that Sikes Snaith & Co. will be a bad business. Glad that Wadeson’s brother had been mistaken for himself.

84. 1826 Feb 3. Will pay £200 into her account at Hanbury.

85. 1826 Feb 10. Sorry to hear she is involved in a disagreeable controversy. Hanbury has Power of Attorney for transfer of Long Annuities.

86. 1826 Feb 22. Encloses documents including Deed of Release and Indemnity to Watson. The sooner she and the young ladies can execute the Release the better.

87. 1826 Jul 28. Thinks the business with Sikes be deferred until she is in town.

88. 1826 Mar 11. Has paid £129.5.11 into her Hanbury account. Has also opened an account, in her name as Executrix of Miss Bankes, and paid in £21.1.2.

88a. 1826 Mar 16. Encloses two affidavits made by her and Hills about what is due from Sikes. They should be seen by a "professional gentleman" and returned to him by 6th April.

89. 1826 Mar 25. Sorry to hear that she and Hills had been plagued with H. Donnes. Confirms that Watson had executed the Deeds. The Annuity business had been completed.

90. 1826 Mar 28. Would not have accepted the draft of settlement on Mrs Downe’s marriage had he seen it before it had been signed. Gives his reasons.

91. 1826 Mar 31. Hills should accept the offer for the Southweald Estate. Gives his reasons.

92. [No date]. Note to Philip Hills [unsigned]. Has employed Winstanley and found him satisfactory. Willing to sell the estate at any reasonable price.

93. 1826 Apr 10. Retains his opinion already expressed. The principal would have reverted to her family on the death of Downes if "Mrs. Hills had consulted a professional person of competent skill".

94. 1826 Apr 14. She and her husband could make any disposition to dispose of the Enfield and Sewardstone and Southweald Estates. Makes suggestions and gives reasons.

95. 1826 Apr 24. Downes does not think his brother would accept the proposal. Believes the enforcement of Hills’s covenant could not be enforced. Discusses the winding up of Southouse’s personal estate.

96. 1826 May 3. Had explained his views to Hills. Will sell the Enfield and Sewardstone and Southweald Estates. Reminds her that the 200 gns had to be provided out of Miss Bankes’s personal estate.

97. 1826 May 13. Thinks her proposition to Downes would be accepted. A dividend of 6/8d. in the £ had been declared by Sike’s assignees.

98. 1826 May 16. Encloses Power of Attorney for her and Hills.

99. 1826 May 20. Downes had asked him to prepare the Deeds, from which he infers that Downes’s brother had accepted her proposal.

100. 1826 May 24. Has found the draft of her marriage settlement amongst Miss Bankes’s papers. He will need the engrossment. Gives details of sums that would be paid into her account.

101. 1826 May 31. Watson, J. Will sign the deeds after they are approved by his solicitor. Is grateful for her good wishes and tells her what his children are doing.

102. 1826 Jul 11. Release of Southouse’s personal Estate had been approved. Asks that Hanbury makes available 200 gns for the purchase.

103. 1826 Jul 21. Release by Downes of Southouse’s Estate to Hills for £2,000 had been approved by Downes’s brother. Deeds will shortly be ready.

104. 1826 Jul 22. Has received the Deed of Conveyance of the Colchester property. £200 is to be paid to Downes.

105. 1826 Jul 24. [Unsigned note by Mrs Hills.] Has instructed Messrs Drummond to purchase £2,000 stock when they receive the instructions from Groom.

106. 1826 Jul 25. Is sending "by the Halstead coach” Downes’s Marriage Settlement and the proposed conveyance to Downes. Also four Powers of Attorney for execution by her and Hills.

107. 1826 Jul 29. Downes had executed the Deed of Assignment and a Covenant to produce the Marriage Settlement. Urges her in future to take legal advice before entering into commitment.

108. 1826 Jul 31. The plan is to place one third of Southouse’s property in her name and that of Hanbury and Britt. Could not understand Hills’s objection.

109. [No date.] [Two written notes by Mrs Hill.] Will not dispose of any of the property of Southouse or Emma Bankes until she has all the necessary information.

110. 1826 Aug 11. Cannot understand Hills’s attitude. Explains why.

111. 1826 Aug 11. Gives confidential opinion on the reason for Hills’s motives.

112. 1826 Aug 11. Suggests she uses her own discretion so far as concerns the information she passes to Hills.

113. 1826 Aug 15. Hills is in error if he thinks the sale of St. Martins Lane Estate would lessen her control over the amount received.

114. 1826 Sep 8. Will pay £100 into her account.

115. 1826 Sep 18. She should consult an expert before agreeing on the method suggested by Milne for determining the price of St. Martins Lane Estate.

116. 1826 Sep 24. Has asked Kynaston’s solicitor what line the proceedings would take.

117. 1826 Sep 28. Recommends that the same individual should not act for both her and for Kynaston.

118. 1826 Nov 10. Recommends that the dividends be paid to the Assignees.

119. 1826 Nov 11. Hills, F. to Groom, W. Convinced that the more he advances from his private income to settle the various claims on the Wills of his grandfather or sister, the longer the whole business would be delayed by Mr Hills. Gives his reasons.

120. 1826 Nov 18. Grieved at her action and stresses she should take his advice. No honest lawyer would act for Mr Hills or concur with him in the prosecution of his claim.

[There are no letter nos.121 or 122. Editor's error.]

123. 1826 Dec 19. Valuation of St. Martin’s Lane Estate. Shaw recommends £20,000.

124. 1827 Jan 5. She had not replied to his letter. Sends copy.

125. 1827 Jan 10. Groom, W. to Hills, R. Regrets Mrs Hills’s illness. Thinks income from the sale of the Estate should be more than the present amount.

126. 1827 Jan 18. Recommends purchase of the Assignees’ share of the Southweald Estate for £300.

127. 1827 Jan 19. Has heard from Shaw that the building called the Gallery is nearly falling down. Something should be done.

127a. 1827 Jan 20. Has asked Shaw if he agrees with the asking price of £23,000.

128. 1827 Feb 3. Valuation of the Estate by the Commissioners. Much less than was thought.

129. 1827 Feb 18. Report on his meeting with Robert Hills. Has paid £150 into her account.

130. 1827 Feb 19. Everything settled with the Assignees of Southouse’s personal property.

131. 1827 Feb 20. Watson, J. to Groom, W. About settling the business with the Assignees.

132. 1827 Mar 3. The Assignees would accept £400 for their share of the Enfield and Essex property.

133. 1827 Mar 15. An accounting of money received and spent.

134. 1827 Mar 30. [Copy of letter] "Copied from a paper delivered to my son, by Mr. Hills in his own handwriting."

135. 1827 Apr 24. Milne, A. to Groom, W. Miss Bankes’s Estate formally valued at £17,000. Offers that amount, not the £20,000 requested.

136. 1827 May 1. Hills, F. to Hills, R (?). About the purchase of the Assignees’ share of the Essex and Middlesex Estates.

137. 1827 May 10. Details of dividends received.

138. 1827 Jul 21. £50 required to purchase Assignees’ share of the Lancaster Court leasehold. He would purchase it himself if she did not want it.

139. 1827 Jul 24. Explains why he had not "plagued" her with the Lancaster Court offer. Had closed with Milne for £18,000.

140. 1827 Sep 25. Reports on the death of Miss Mary Cust.

141. 1827 Nov 6. Is required to prove that Mrs Bankes was Southouse’s legal heir.

142. 1827 Nov 17. Government solicitors had accepted that Mrs Bankes was Southouse’s heir at the time of his death.

143. 1827 Nov 28. Proceeds of the sale of St. Martin’s Lane Estate must be invested in the name of the Trustees of Miss Bankes’s Will. Asks for the name of a Trustee to be substituted for Wilkinson.

144. 1827 Dec 5. His son had interviewed Wilkinson who would not consider moving. Money received from the Commissioners to be banked in the names of Cust and Wilkinson.

145. 1827 Dec 12. Reminds her about the £18,000 offer from Shaw. Asks for her decision.

146. 1827 Dec 13. Suggests it would be best if Cust and Wilkinson made the conveyance.

147. 1827 Dec 18. No risk if Cust and Wilkinson were to receive the £18,000, pay the legacy duty and invest the residue in their own names in the purchase of consols.

148. 1827 Dec 20. Confirms the delay was on part of the Commissioners.

149. 1827 Dec 21. Wilkinson was bankrupt and willing to withdraw from the Trust if she so wished. Legacy duty would exceed £500.

150. 1827 Dec 27. Grateful for her kind words. Has asked Wilkinson to withdraw, and with the resignation of Cust there will be a change of Trustees.

151. 1828 Jan 9. Grateful for her present of a turkey and barrel of oysters. Worried about his father’s health.

152. 1828 Jan 24. Watson, J. to Groom, R. Anxious about immediate payment for the St. Martin’s Estate. Equally anxious for the Assignees to conclude their purchases of the Southweald and Enfield Estates.

153. 1828 Jan 28. Encloses copy of letter from T.W. Southouse to the Commissioners of Woods. It is about his grandfather’s Will dated 1744 and explains the delay in the sale of the St. Martin’s Estate.

154. 1828 Jan 30. [Part of letter from Mrs Hills to Groom, R.] Grateful for the copy of letter from Southouse to the Commissioners of Woods.

155. 1828 Feb 5. Has agreed to a search for the 1744 Will [No. 153] and explains the reasons.

156. 1828 Feb 23. Has provided Christie with evidence of possession and this should satisfy him. Reminds her that Southouse is the only claimant of any interest.

157. 1828 Mar 6. Regrets he is unable to relieve her anxiety and cannot put her mind entirely at ease.

158. 1828 Mar 8. Christie had disagreed with the new material submitted to him. Has requested Green to explain the Title to the Commissioners.

159. 1828 Mar 9. Mrs Hills. About her anxiety and suspense and the fact that she is the rightful owner to the Title.

[There is no Letter No. 160. Editor’s error.]

161. 1828 Mar 20. Mrs Hills to Richard Groom. Commiserates with him on the death of his father.

162. 1828 Mar 29. Strongly recommends that payment be made to the Court of Exchequer. [Enclosed is copy of letter from Groom, R. to Hills, P. and Hills’s reply.]

163. 1828 Apr 2. Mrs Hills to Hills, Philip. With her children in mind she appeals to him to take the necessary action.

164. 1828 Apr 18. Happy at the outcome of her negotiations with Hills. Will put the matter in hand immediately. Explains procedure.

165. 1828 May 15. Assures her he is not being dilatory. Gives details of what he had done.

166. 1828 May 23. Provides further explanation of what was happening. Mentions valuation of Southouse’s personal property and investment in the names of Trustees.

167. 1828 Jun 18. Confirms everything will soon be settled. Asks for £300 to settle matters.

168. 1828 Jul 10. Asks for return of the Powers of Attorney. Will take to the end of the month to finalise matters. About failure of tenants to pay rents to the Commissioners.

169. 1828 Aug 7. Cannot send her draft release of Southouse’s personal Estate until he had received the Powers of Attorney. Everything ready for final settlement.

170. 1828 Aug 12. Encloses the draft and return the powers and orders.

171. 1828 Oct 1. About the sale of the Essex and Middlesex Estates.

172. 1828 Oct 17. From William Groom. [Ed. reference to illness and death Nos. 151 and 161] Has made progress for final settlement with Bankes’s Assignees. About Hills and the Power of Attorney.

173. 1828 Oct 21. Hopes she had received half the rents from the Southweald, Sewardstone and Enfield Estates. About the legal disability of a married lady.

174. 1828 Nov 4. About the four Powers and Orders executed and signed by Hills.

175. 1828 Dec 24. Has received the draft of the Government’s purchase of Lancaster Court. Asks if he is to manage the sale of Southweald and Enfield properties for all parties.

176. 1828 Dec 30. Asks if Miss Bankes kept an account of her mother’s personal Estate. And had Mrs Bankes’s legacy of 20 gns to Watson been paid?

177. 1828 Dec 31. About his son’s misunderstanding. And his surprise that Hills would expect the Trustees to concur with his proposition.

178. 1829 Jan 4. Has received an offer of 3 1/2 per cent for £15,000. Would she accept?

179. 1829 Jan 6. Anxious about her overall position and her outlook.

180. 1829 Jan 8. Took it for granted she had the power to do as she proposed and that it was only the wisdom of so doing that needed to be considered.

181. 1829 Jan 26. Doubtful if Cust would agree to her proposal as he was anxious to be relieved of all Trusts.

182. 1829 Feb 10. Lord Brownlow now insists that his brother files a Bill in Chancery against Hills. This to guard her interests and those of her children.

183. 1829 Feb 17. Mrs Hills to Hills (husband). Informs him of Lord Brownlow’s insistence that his brother (William Cust) files a Bill in Chancery.

184. 1829 Feb 20. Hills, R. (son). Never again would he take part in any dispute between his mother and father. Urges her against agreeing to the Bill in Chancery.

185. 1829 Feb 21. Urges her to take action against Hills’s perverseness. The Trustees had to "proceed to extremities".

186. 1829 Feb 21. Mrs Hills to Groom, W. Distressed by the letter from her son and the behaviour of her husband. Would gladly pay her husband £300 if that were to settle the matter.

187. 1829 Feb 23. Shocked by her son’s attitude and the words he had used. He is at a loss to give advice in the light of her son’s comment, "seemingly with a feeling of triumph", that if she applied to the Court of Chancery she would no longer live with his father "on the same terms as at present".

188. 1829 Mar 2. Acknowledges receipt of parcel. Still unable to advise her "under the penalty of separation” were she to act against her husband’s wishes.

189. 1829 Mar 2. Has looked into the Wills but see no means of satisfying Hills’s unreasonable wishes other than out of monies in hand or by the sales of her shares of the Estates.

189a. 1829 Mar 16. Mrs Hills to her son, Robert Hills. Gives reasons for acting as she had done and outlines the proposal to his father.

190. 1829 Mar 21. Had received her letter of the 16th March. Glad to hear of her proposal.

191. 1829 Mar 25. Her letter 22 March with enclosure. Not surprised her proposal had been rejected.

192. 1829 Apr 4. Encloses affidavit and other papers for her signature.

193. 1829 Apr 11. Acknowledges receipt of affidavit and Stamp Office papers. Fully appreciates her sense of frustration.

194. 1829 Jun. Mrs Hills to Groom, W. [part of letter]. Sale of the Southweald property must take priority. Outline of what had happened and her opinion.

195. 1829 Jun 20. Sorry to hear she is unwell. Will advertise the sale by auction of the Southweald, Sewardstone and Enfield properties.

196. 1829 Jun 23. Asks for names of tenants in the Sewardstone and Enfield lands and whether or not they pay the land tax.

197. 1829 Jun 29. Had hoped for £18,500 but fears the maximum would be £18,000. Asks what she thinks.

198. 1829 Jun 29. Asks for Deeds of Settlements and other papers, some of which are with Hills. They are required for the sale.

199. 1829 Jul 17. Acknowledges receipt of Deed of Appointment but finds it difficult to reply to Hills’s observations.

200. 1829 Jul 20. Has written to Hills with information that should satisfy him.

201. 1829 Jul 21. The sale of Lot 1 for £1,400 plus two-thirds the value of the timber.

202. 1829 Aug 3. Has accepted £350 for the sale of Sewardstone and Enfield land. Asks that Hills be shown the letter.

203. 1829 Aug 7. Asks that Hills sends him the 1794 Deeds of Settlement relating to the marriage of her mother and father.

204. 1829 Aug 14. Deeds not yet received. Encloses the conveyance of the Lancaster Court House.

205. 1829 Sep 5. Has still not received from Hills the 1794 Deeds. Payment from the assignees of Sikes & Co. 3d. in the £.

206. 1829 Sep 14. Has completed the Lancaster Court sale and received the purchase money.

207. 1829 Sep 14. Has discovered there are two 1794 Deeds and that both are required. Understands that Mrs Robinson’s Sheet may be got at. Asks that she writes and warns her about an approach from his son or clerk on the subject of the Bankes’s pedigree. Asks where Henry Bankes was buried.

208. 1829 Sep 24. There will be difficulty with Rose’s certificate of burial because there is no such place as Horsell in Surrey. Asks in what regiment was her brother William Bankes when he fell.

209. 1829 Oct 9. About Mr Bell and to whom he paid the rent.

210. 1829 Oct 16. Gives details of quarterly account of St. Martin’s Lane Estate. Has obtained the certificate of Rose’s burial. "It is quite wonderful that Mr. Hills should be so wrong about the Deed of Release."

211. 1829 Oct 22. Encloses for signatures the conveyance of the Southweald Estate - Lease and Release.

212. 1829 Oct 28. Has made a discovery which should satisfy the Commissioners about the title of the Estate in St. Martin’s Lane. Mrs Robinson has been most helpful. Hills’s conduct is very annoying and is suicidal.

213. 1829 Nov 5. Has written to Hills and hopes for a favourable reply. Hopes this month to see completion of the St. Martin’s Lane sale.

214. 1829 Nov 25. Encloses the conveyance of the St. Martin’s Lane sale.

215. 1829 Dec 10. Will send to Hanbury for the Deeds. Unfortunate that the £18,000 should be received when the stocks were so high but does not think this was deliberate on part of the Government Commissioners.

216. 1829 Dec 30. His father [William Groom] seriously ill. Description of the overall picture.

217. 1830 Jan 14. The £17,000 will be invested immediately in accordance with Wilkinson’s wish.

218. 1830 Jan 24. Has settled the Southweald sale and has paid to Hills £384/2/6. Will send him the Deed of 1819. Cust wishes to extricate himself from the Trust.

219. 1830 Feb 4. "For suffering the Recovery" it will be necessary for her and Hills to acknowledge a Warrant of Attorney before two Commissioners.

220. 1830 Feb 6. Encloses engrossment of the Recovery Deeds. The packet of papers to be given to the two Commissioners. Included also is the Deed of 1819.

221. 1830 Mar 22. The Enfield sale cannot be completed until after 28th April. Will prepare draft deed covering Miss Bankes’s Estate. Wilkinson offended because his brother-in-law was not asked to manage the investment of £17,000.

222. 1830 Mar 26. Happy about Wilkinson’s conduct. Has paid £1,000 for the law costs and will attend the Legacy Duty Office with respect to the £18,000.
Extent1 box
NotesListed by M.Walker. N.B. There are 3 different spellings in the list produced by Walker: Malerby, Maberley and Maberly but it is believed they all refer to the same person.
Creator NameSmith, Pleasance, Lady
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